| J105 |
| 73 |
| Q82 |
| AK964 |
This week's hand is just a report; I was not even near the table.
Tony Forrester, Andy Robson, Marcello Branco, and Gabriel Chagas
put forth a challenge that they could beat any other team in the
world. This is quite possibly true, but they added the restriction
that they would play only natural methods, while their opponents
were welcome to play anything they choose. The idea was a resurrection
of the old ``Scientists vs. Naturalists'' competition, this time
funded by a wealthy European sponsor.
The match was quite close, though the Scientists pulled away at the
end. Reporters claim that bidding methods were not a significant
portion of the difference between the teams, but familiarity with
methods definitely was. The naturalists had not practiced much with
their system and were in enough unfamiliar spots that they had some
troubles. In the upcoming matches, hopefully that will have been
Everybody got their money's worth just via this hand. Robson reached
4 after a Precisionish 2 (long clubs, limited high
cards) opening bid. The defense began with two rounds of clubs,
Robson ruffing. With two Aces to knock out and only one long trump
left, Robson was in danger of losing control of the hand, so he could
not afford to draw trumps before setting up his side suits. Playing
side suits, however, might expose him to a ruff, but he found a
brilliant solution. He led the J at trick three. He knew
that the opponents would be giving count signals, so he could not
hope to disguise his diamond holding by one card, but he could disguise
it by two cards. Meckstroth fell for it, ducking the diamond, assuming
that it was doubleton. Meckstroth won the second diamond, and, still
believing that partner had four diamonds, continued clubs.
Robson still needed to get his heart tricks before drawing trumps, so
he started setting up hearts by leading a small one from his hand.
Meckstroth played the Jack, knowing that it was coming down anyway,
since he had the Nine, and Rodwell let the King hold in dummy. Two
rounds of trumps ought to be safe now, so Robson led the small trump
off dummy and finessed the Nine successfully. When he cashed the
Ace, Rodwell dropped the Queen. This is an example of playing the
card you are known to hold, good general practice, and it had a devastating
effect on this hand. Robson had to continue hearts next because he
only had one trump left in each hand, so he played the Queen, which
held and continued with a third heart to Rodwell's Ace. This left the
Rodwell exited with his club, Robson pitching a diamond and ruffing in
dummy. The hand can be made now by leading the K from dummy,
and certainly would have if Rodwell had not dropped his trump Queen,
since he would be marked with the card. Robson thought that Meckstroth
had the 8, though, so he thought that it was safe to cash a
diamond, rather than give him a trump promotion by leading a heart.
As you can see, this gives Rodwell his diamond ruff after all.
Down one. Very nicely played by all.
| J |
| --- |
| 8 |
| K |
Copyright © 1992 Jeff Goldsmith